THE ETERNAL DANCE OF FILM | Emmet O'Brien
Animation has always been a huge passion of mine. Ever since I was a child I thrilled to the world of ink and motion and have wanted to contribute something to the field. Alas my artistic skills could be charitably called “lacking”. So I have always known that to bring forth any sort of illustrated vision, I would need diligent cohorts.
I have always characterised myself as a writer with a capital “W” and a director with a small letter. Initially I wanted to be just a writer but sort of fell into directing my own work due to its particular tone and niche elements. Over time my comfort in this role has grown but during the production of “Same Old Song & Dance” my fourth film, I understood that this was an area I have only ever appreciated as a fan. Production wise I was very much a novice and the elements of blending the drawings provided by ace filmmaker Cethan Leahy with the animation and music stylings of the peerless David Nelligan was technically beyond me. The best thing of having collaborators you can count on is knowing that whatever vague requests you make, they will either provide or they will sensibly rein in. This caused my role to be much more hands off than in the past by virtue of the new medium. Instead it consisted of writing the script, directing the actors and overseeing the general tone of the project but for the animation aspects I would have to trust in my colleagues.
I had worked with both men before on different projects. Cethan and I had done a short comic called “On Line Dating” and I love his old fashioned and charming style. It has a reserved quality and a timeless feel and was perfect for the subject and tone.
David Nelligan is a master of many disciplines and he had featured in my first film as both an actor and musician. He brings so much passion and talent to every project he is involved in and in fact it was his initial suggestion to work on an animated piece that sparked the concept.
As I wrote the characters I already had my actors in mind. For Sabrina I thought of Rachel Feeney the star of my first film. I knew she would bring dignity and grace to the role. Also from my debut film, Darragh Keating shines as a David Niven-esque romantic, his delivery conjuring that classic stiff upper lip demeanour to be found at the heart of many a retro weepie.
Such classic film tropes have always excited me and I am a serious aficionado of the time. I hope this, even in its brevity, evokes that golden era and stands as a tribute to the likes of Lean or Powell and Pressburger and their sepia tinged brethren.
Written by Emmet O'Brien, Director of Same Old Song & Dance, Ireland 2015.
Check out David Nelligan's work including his score for "Same Old Song & Dance" here:
Check out writing and musings from Cethan Leahy here: